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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Michael S. Goldsby, PhD (Zeno Corporation)
Description: The editors have done a marvelous job of bringing the writings of respected legal and social science scholars together in one comprehensive and straightforward book that addresses the key issues of our legal system when dealing with children as victims, witnesses, and offenders. The information is based on the latest research findings regarding psychological science and the law as it applies to children, and suggests ways in which current scientific research might be applied to improve outcomes for children who are involved in the justice system.
Purpose: The purpose is to identify how social science research can inform the creation, revision, interpretation, and implementation of laws and policies regarding children. It also serves to increase awareness about a wide variety of issues directly related to children as victims, witnesses, and offenders that are in need of theoretical, empirical, and legislative attention.
Audience: Forensic psychologists as well as child and adolescent psychologists, social workers, policy makers, legal professionals, and those in psychology and legal research would most likely find this book of interest. It also would be a valuable addition to the curriculum for graduate course work in psychology.
Features: The first of the book's two parts is composed of 11 chapters that highlight the multitude of issues arising from the complexity of working with victimized children and children as witnesses. Part two devotes eight chapters to the multifaceted issues surrounding how children become offenders. The book presents scientific research findings in the context of children in the court system as well as how these new findings might be applied in order to ensure justice for these children.
Assessment: This book puts the spotlight on the issue of children and adolescents involved in the judicial system, becoming an instant go-to text for the field. The breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise the authors present is unparalleled and they convey it in a manner that is both comprehensive in the scientific and legal aspects and straightforward and understandable. I highly recommend this timely book as an absolute must-have for anyone involved in child advocacy and the judicial system.